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Luna - Biography

Luna Lovegood

"Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure..."
     -- Luna Lovegood, unexpectedly

"You can laugh, but people used to believe there were no such things as the Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack!"
     -- Luna Lovegood

"I think I'll just go down and have some pudding and wait for it all to turn up … it always does in the end…"
     -- Luna Lovegood

b. 1981
Ravenclaw, 1992 - 1999

Luna Lovegood is a witch in Ginny's year who is considered a bit weird by her classmates. She comes by this reputation honestly: Luna simply isn't like the other kids at all. She dresses unusually, she proclaims her strange beliefs to anyone who will listen, and in some ways she seems to be completely out of touch with what's going on around her. She has a somewhat bizarre sense of appropriate social behavior. For example, for a Quidditch match where the students wave banners and wear rosettes in team colors, Luna sports a hat with a life-sized lion's head on it which roars very realistically.

Luna is often the butt of jokes. She is called Loony Lovegood behind her back. She has a habit of tucking her wand behind her ear for safe-keeping. Others steal her possessions all through the year and she is forced to put up notices on the last day of term, asking for her things back. Her peculiar habits -- wearing butterbeer corks and radishes for jewelry, for example -- make her the target of teasing and ridicule. Through it all, Luna is surprisingly patient and accepting. She doesn't fight back or even seem to notice, although she is certainly aware of much of the teasing. She knows that her nickname is Loony, for example, but mentions it to Harry in a very matter-of-fact way. 

Harry met Luna for the first time aboard the Hogwarts Express on September 1, 1995. He, Ginny, and Neville shared a compartment with her on the train. She was reading a copy of "The Quibbler" magazine upside down. She informed the others that her father is the editor of The Quibbler, a magazine which most in the Wizarding World consider a joke. She laughed a little too loud, she stared at the other kids, and generally made an odd traveling companion. Harry privately thought, when Cho happened by their compartment to say hello, that he would much rather have been sitting with "cooler" kids than Luna and Neville.

Harry was unsure about her, especially when it turned out that she was the only one that he knew who could see the Thestrals. She told him that he was as sane as she was, which wasn't all that comforting to hear. Over the course of the year, Luna proved to be a faithful friend to Harry and his friends. She supported the Gryffindor team against every other house except Ravenvclaw. She took a stand in favor of believing Harry in front of a group of other fourth and fifth year students. She joined the DA and worked hard. That training paid off in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, during which she fought bravely against the Death Eaters. 

Luna Lovegood by Hala Zabaneh ©2004Perhaps Luna's greatest moment, however, came at the very end of the school year. Harry was suffering terribly from the loss of his godfather and he spent a frantic few hours trying to find some way to contact Sirius. He tried methods similar to sťances and contacted ghosts to try to talk to the dead but found comfort in none of these things. When Luna encountered Harry, she spoke of the comfort which she has in knowing that she will see her dead mother again. This spoke of an almost Christian belief in an afterlife, and it is this kind of belief, coming from a girl who believes so many unusual things, that brought true comfort to Harry. 

Interestingly, Luna seems to be more serene and composed than most of her peers. She often stares off into the distance and seems detatched from what is going on around her. Her deeply-held beliefs, although not understood or accepted by those around her, do give her a certain dignity. By the end of the 1995-1996 school year, she is much more accepted as a friend and comrade by Harry, Ron, and Hermione. 

Luna's family is possibly the Lovegoods mentioned as living near Ottery St. Catchpole. Her father is the editor of The Quibbler. Her mother was a very capable witch who loved to experiment. When Luna was nine years old, one of her mother's spells went rather horribly wrong and she was killed. Luna still misses her terribly sometimes, but she finds comfort knowing that she'll see her again one day in the afterlife. 

Name derivations
"loony"
Eng. slang - 'crazy,' from "lunatic", which is from luna = Latin, 'moon', derived from the belief that sanity is affected by the phase of the moon.
"love" + "good" could refer to the fact that Luna shows the rather peculiar but admirable quality of loving those who don't show much affection toward her (judging by the way she acts towards those she knows are ridiculing her and stealing her things).

Luna Lovegood
hair: dirty blonde, waist-length and straggly
eyes: protuberant, with very faint eyebrows
distinguishing features: dreamy look, often seems to have turned up wherever she is completely by accident
age: b. ca. 1981
interests: holds a variety of rather strange beliefs which seem to have no basis in fact, but her steadfast faith and calm demeanor are in some ways her finest strengths. While she believe in Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, she also believes that she will see her deceased mother again after death, and it is this belief which comforts Harry
house: Ravenclaw, same year as Ginny

Essay: Luna's Place in the Expanding Circle of Friends by Antosha
Luna  is clearly Hermione's mirror. I think Hermione's rationalism, which is such an important part of the trio's dynamic, has it's downside: an unwillingness to leap before looking; a fear of the unknown. We've watched Hermione freeze up in just about every book because her studies haven't provided her with the answer. Usually Ron and Harry have to pull/prod/jolly Hermione past these crises ("Are you a witch or aren't you!"). Freud and Jung would say that the thing you're afraid of is the thing you buried, the thing you secretly want to do. But now we have Luna who is Hermione's physical photo-negative (blonde fluffy hair instead of brown), who is, like Hermione, brainy, if in an entirely different way, and who EMBODIES all of the things Hermione most lacks: intuition and faith. Not big-F Faith, because, thankfully, we haven't gotten a straight sermon in the books yet, and if we do I'll scream. But little-f faith in the possibility of the world operating on laws that transcend the limits of mere physics, chemistry and biology. (This is, after all, a universe where magic works.) I think that Luna's 'fuzziness' gets under Hermione's skin precisely because it is so SCARY to her. But I think it is part of the support that Harry needs in order to stay sane while facing the horrors of the mysteries that he must face in the years to come. And I betcha knowing Luna forces Hermione to grow too. Besides, how fun, someone else for Hermione to bicker with. And possibly to fight over Ron with. Whooopee!

I love Hermione for her logic and her intellect--and her loyalty. But I think it is wonderful that JKR has inserted Luna, and with her a door to all of those unanswerable mysteries the Department of Mysteries has been struggling with. It allows JKR to touch on issues like death and love and time and responsibility on a larger scale than merely life-within-the-plot without resorting to a religious or even secular creed that would lessen, rather than increase, the books' impact, since whatever belief she espouses would be at odds with that of 90% or more of her readers.

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